ADHD /ADD OUR STORY

Updated: Sep 6, 2019


ADHD /ADD OUR STORY

Hi my name is Angelica. I am a mom of two kids, photographer, jiujitsu practitioner, stay at home mom and wife. OH! And last May I got diagnosed with ADD at the age of 31. I’d also like to mention that my 10 year old son has ADHD; he was diagnosed at 8 years old.

September 7th is National ADHD Awareness Day in the United States. This is the reason I decided to blog about the subject. So, before I get lost in my thoughts or distracted, let's begin.


This is our story:


As a kid, I struggled continuously to make friends, suffered from low self-esteem and felt like I was always a bad kid because I was constantly getting in trouble. I was known as the kid without a filter. I would just tell people what was on my mind. I was born and raised in a small town in Colombia. Cultures are different and these were different times so back then they were never big into diagnosing kids. I was told I was just being a KID, a very wild one. I recall my mother taking me the psychologist, which was the priest of our small town church. Unfortunately, we only had one session because he moved. I continued to struggle but I found a huge relief in judo at the age of 8. I was able to burn all my energy and frustration on the mat, all while winning medals and being praised for doing so. I stopped doing judo after 4 years but did other mixed martial arts like hapkido, Krav Maga and now as an adult, jujitsu. Martial arts were the one thing that made sense to me. When I was a teenager I was lonely even though I knew so many people. I did not make very strong connections with others. I continued to struggle to maintain friends because of my harsh attitude. The only people that seem to stick around were those who knew this was just the way I was and those who loved when I was straightforward and honest with my opinions.


Adulthood life in America was a struggle. It was hard to make friends, but now I had another factor to add: culture shock. I had never felt so lonely. I had just left my hometown at age 17 and moved thousands of miles away to the United States. Despite those challenges, very soon I found love and in him a best friend, perhaps one of the few people that understands me. We’ve been happily married ever since.

Being a military spouse who has lived overseas presents it’s own challenges when it comes to making and maintaining friends. But it wasn’t until I became a mom that I really struggled with low self-esteem trying to find a place where to fit in socially. I also suffered from depression and a big part of that had to do with the years I watched my own son struggle with the same things I endured as a child. I kept telling myself he was just a boy, a wild one. I didn’t know any better because this is what I was taught from a very young age. I kept thinking, “He is a lot better than I was when I was that age”. But he struggled and I saw his battle with low self-esteem, felt the sadness he had, he was not making friends and sometimes I would overhear kids saying he was “the bad kid”.

Finally, after years of trying to convince myself that this was normal behavior, trying natural oils and all kind of home remedies, my husband and I came to a decision to take him to the doctor. We explained all of our son’s behavior concerns and asked for him to get tested. Shortly after,he was diagnosed with ADHD.I was confused and in disbelief. We decided to follow the doctor’s recommendation and gave medication a try mainly because not only his self-esteem was not good but neither were his grades. I knew what he felt because I felt just like him.

My depression took a turn for the worse. I felt like a bad parent. Like I had failed him. I took the time to read and educate myselfabout ADHD. Within months I noticed a huge change with my son. His grades went up, my boy had friends!!Friends that would come looking for him to play with, this was such a relief. During the medication trial period we switched medications brands and tried different dosages until we found one that works for him to get him where he is now.

At that time I was staying busy with my photography business, doing jiujitsu and trying to believe everything will be ok. I had every reason to be happy, but honestly, I was a hot mess. I was still struggling as a mom, as a friend, and as a person. I still felt sadness, like I was not reaching my full potential. I noticed I started getting into a series of silly and meaningless car accidents, all because I was easily distracted, which terrified me because we had just moved to a new country. Driving anywhere gave me anxiety, I feared getting in to a car crash.This is when I decided to ask for help.I wanted to be a better person, a better mom and a better wife. I wanted the fear of driving and the anxiety attacks to stop. After all, I didn’t have an explanation for these feelings.

The day I was given my ADD diagnosis I was relieved. Yes, relieved. I felt like everything made so much sense now. I understood that maybe if I got treatment, perhaps I would not struggle as much either. Maybe if it worked for my son, it would work for me too. I started medication shortly after my diagnosis and I am currently still figuring out what’s the right dose for me. Ever since, I have noticed a huge improvement reaching a lot of my photography aspirations. This has allowed me to focus more on goals I’ve had in mind and getting task accomplished when meeting short deadlines. Also, I have found that blogging and doing photography tutorials has brought my business to the next level.